A village with grit, will and vision
While hundreds of villages in Telangana districts lack basic infrastructure and proper sanitation, and wait endlessly for some public representatives or government officials to take initiatives to bring in some development, some beg to differ.
Karimnagar: While hundreds of villages in Telangana districts lack basic infrastructure and proper sanitation, and wait endlessly for some public representatives or government officials to take initiatives to bring in some development, some beg to differ.
Realising the futility in hoping that someone would bring changes, some villages do it themselves. Himmathnagar, a small village in Veenavanka mandal in Karimnagar district is a classic example.
A few residents of Himmathnagar which has 230 families have joined hands to prove anything can be achieved by united efforts, without waiting for someone, including MLAs, or officials to contribute to its development. The village has become a model in the district itself. It stands first in rainwater harvesting pits, internal roads and Haritha Haram works, with a resolve that every house must have a tree.
The residents have not only fruitfully utilised various government schemes, but also are paying highest tax to the exchequer. They have no dues of property tax nor power and water bills. They also built latrines all by themselves.
Seeing their enthusiasm, people’s representatives, who joined hands in developing the village, have been quick in allotting funds for various works and securing them from Finance Minister Etala Rajender. Officials give personal attention to complete the tasks, thus ensuring that all government schemes and funds are received on time.
The villagers have been in the forefront in enforcing liquor ban. They resolved under the leadership of the sarpanch not to allow illicit liquor (‘gudumba’), gutka, gambling (playing cards) and other such evil practices. This has ensured that there no banned drinks are available in the village. If anyone violates the decision, a fine of Rs 5,000 is imposed for either consumption or sale of gutka, liquor or for playing cards.
Those who help catch such violators are given incentive of Rs 1,000 each. A fine of Rs 1,000 is imposed for open defecation and Rs 10,000 is collected as fine from those driving tractors with heavy wheels that damage roads. Recently, the residents got the village tank deepened under the Mission Kakatiya.
No wonder Himmathnagar has achieved 100 per cent in construction of latrines and rainwater harvesting pits. There is no instance of its wells going dry. Villagers have rainwater harvesting pits in their fields. Utilising the government subsidy, they built latrines in every house. They have street lights, benches to squat, pot-hole free roads and a graveyard spread over two acres with all facilities.
Every month the villagers meet to decide their requirements and take united decisions to implement them, with everyone contributing. Any problem faced by residents is solved through the appointed committees, without the involvement of the police. Every week they join hands to clean the village under the Swachh Bharat campaign. It has become a normal habit for each resident to dump garbage in the bin. Any newcomer to the village is first briefed about cleanliness, thus effectively preventing reckless dumping of garbage.
In another first, villagers resolved that their children would not go to private institutions, so as to ensure survival of the government school. They have been patronising the school for the last two years. As a result, its strength increased from 30 to 100. The sarpanch is making efforts to secure the services of two English teachers from Kerala to enable the students to learn English on par with private schools.
Residents Srikanth, Bhaskar Reddy and Lakshman told The Hans India that they had been able to make Himmathnagar the ideal one. They said villagers had not been working for securing awards. “If we develop the village, awards will come automatically. We want the future generations to prosper. If more funds from the SC/BC Corporation are secured, the youth will benefit. We are striving for these funds,” they said.
By Ch Gopalakrishna